Sat | Dec 3, 2022

Man being investigated for human trafficking involving St Elizabeth girl

Published:Friday | July 2, 2021 | 7:42 PM
Shand: On reaching the destination, the man did not have the money, so the gentleman who was driving the taxi drove onto the compound of the Papine Police Station and CISOCA was called.

A man is now being investigated for human trafficking after being busted when he failed to pay a taxi driver he chartered to take a child from St Elizabeth to meet him in downtown Kingston.

The police also theorise that efforts were being made to sexually groom the child. 

According to Senior Superintendent Charmaine Shand, the head of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), the man had promised to pay the taxi fare for the little girl to be taken to him in Kingston last week. 

“On reaching the destination, the man did not have the money, so the gentleman who was driving the taxi drove onto the compound of the Papine Police Station and CISOCA was called,” she said. 

Shand was speaking during a sensitisation session on child abuse with Justices of the Peace Thursday night. 

She pleaded with them to encourage parents to listen to their children when they report that they are being sexually abused.  

“We are seeing where children are living in the same household as it relates to persons who were convicted, not only for murder, but for sexual offences, and these children are living in the same household and from time to time, this is the same set of persons who continue to abuse these children,” she said. 

Shand also expressed concern that several teen girls were turning up at CISOCA pregnant and reminded the Justices of the Peace that they have a duty to report any case of child abuse. 

Failure to make a report is an offence which, attracts a fine of $500,000 or six months imprisonment or both. 

Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison also stressed that JPs have a duty to report even if they have a suspicion that something is likely to happen.

She said the well-being of a child trumps any desire to maintain the confidence of an abuser who has said something to them in private. 

More than 108,300 cases of child abuse were reported to the National Children's Registry between 2007 to 2018.  

Gordon-Harrison said the Justices of the Peace in the communities and are in a good position to spread the message to parents that they should be careful about the people in whose care they leave their children.  

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